Lost in Space is the latest Netflix Original series that we are binge-watching. This 10-episode sci-fi series is a reboot of the popular 1960s TV series of the same name. Set 30 years in the future, it follows the Robinson family as they are forced to crash land on a strange planet where they encounter many dangers.
John and Maureen Robinson (Toby Stephens, Molly Parker) and their children — Judy (Taylor Russell), Penny (Mina Sundwall), and Will (Maxwell Jenkins) quickly realize they have to bond like never before in an effort to survive.
We caught up with Molly Parker to talk about the reboot, the strength of women on the show and more.
What was the biggest appeal for you when you first got the script for Lost in Space?
The writing was really good and we were immediately into the action. I was completely engaged with the character of Will, partly because I have an 11-year-old who is also named Will so it was a pretty easy leap to make. I was affected by the script more than I had anticipated. It’s not a kid’s show, but kids of a certain age will really enjoy it and then it’s sophisticated enough for adults to really engage with as well.
How has the series been updated or rewritten to fit today’s representation of strong female roles?
It’s been 50 years since the original aired. I think overall the show is much more grounded in a familiar kind of reality. This family is full of characters who are flawed and the parents are on the verge of divorce possibly and the kids have their own demons to deal with. We are just now seeing representation of people who look like us – as a blended family. The girls can do any of the jobs that men can do. It’s assumed that that’s a fact. It’s never discussed. Nobody needs to have this conversation. None of the girls need to talk about girl power. It just is. I certainly hope in 30 years we will be there and don’t have to talk about it.
So how is Maureen from the '60s version different from the role you portray now?
I hadn’t seen the original when Netflix first approached me about doing the show. I did watch the first season with my son while we were shooting. The heart of that show was the family and the boy’s relationship with the robot and I think it still is. Maureen Robinson in the original seemed to spend quite a lot of time making sandwiches and she had this great machine that folded clothes for her. But she was also very strong. I think that’s clearly something that June Lockhart brought to that role.
Tell us a bit about filming on set. I heard that you filmed on mountains instead of complete green screen.
I had assumed that when I took the job that there’d be a ton of studio work and green screen work and there was, but we spent an equal amount of time on location. It was cool and a new experience for me. I haven’t done a sci-fi show before and the writers joked that they would turn me into an action hero. But they tried. (Laughs)
What makes Netflix the best platform to showcase this series?
I’ve been working with Netflix a lot over the last few years and I love working with them for a number of reasons. They have created a situation where you can make specific projects because they have access to such a massive audience that the right people are going to find it. Netflix has been able to do that so that you don’t have to make things that appeal to everybody. That said, this show does have this really broad appeal. Not just within age range, but also internationally. We were in Tokyo, and then in Dubai. And it’s because it’s about family which translates everywhere.
If you were going on a trip to another planet IRL, what are the three things you’d take with you?
Living in the digital age, you can pack a lot of stuff in one thing. I’d take a whole database of music, and books. And I’d take cheese and French bread. Make that four things.
Lost in Space is currently streaming on Netflix.~ Marriska Fernandes